In Missouri, the law requires all motor vehicle drivers to maintain some type of liability insurance coverage. The minimum level of coverage required by Missouri law is: $25,000 per person for bodily injury; $50,000 per accident for bodily injury; $10,000 per accident for property (source). Even though it is the law, there are still many drivers who get behind the wheel without insurance.
Getting in an accident with an uninsured driver can certainly cause stress as you wonder how you will be paid for your damages. Oftentimes, you will need to sue the negligent driver. In most instances, the reason the driver does not have auto insurance is that they cannot afford it. Seeking a settlement award from an uninsured driver to cover the costs can be a challenge, but don’t worry, you do not have to deal with the complex case alone.
Steps to Take After an Accident with an Uninsured Driver
1. File an Accident Report
If you get into a car accident, whether the other driver has insurance or not, it’s always a good idea to call the police to file an accident report; and in Missouri, it is the law to report any car accident with an uninsured driver. Having an accident report will help get your expenses covered and can make the claims process smoother.
2. Swap Information
While the driver doesn’t have insurance information to give you, you’ll still want to get their contact and vehicle details. Don’t forget to ask for contact information from any witnesses; their statements can also be beneficial during the claims process. The other driver could face some hefty fines and fees for driving uninsured, so they might try to offer you money to avoid legal repercussions. You have no idea what your damages or injury costs will come to so DO NOT accept any money.
3. Gather Details
If possible, take notes at the scene of the accident. Get the make and model of the other driver’s vehicle, time and location of the accident, and the name and badge number of the responding officer. Also, take note of any details you think could help you when working with your insurance company. Take pictures of any damage to your car and the other vehicle, the other driver’s license plate, traffic signs, and a wider shot showing the direction each vehicle was traveling.
4. File a Claim
To file a claim with your insurance company, you’ll need your policy number. They’ll ask for the date, time, and location of the accident. Include all of the details you noted while at the scene of the accident and be as descriptive as possible for your report. Let them know you can send in the pictures you took as well. The claims representative will ask for the insurance information of the other driver involved, but since that is nonexistent, you can provide the contact information the at-fault driver gave you. Give the name of the police department you called and the police report number.
5. Hire a Lake of the Ozarks Car Accident Lawyer
In Missouri, you have a right to sue a driver without limitation or caps on settlement amounts. Because Missouri carries a pure comparative fault law, your percentage of fault is taken into account in your settlement award. Because of this, working with an experienced car accident attorney can be crucial to receiving the maximum amount for your settlement. The Lake of the Ozarks car accident lawyers at Deputy & Mizell can help you calculate the extent of your settlement award and work to prove negligence in your case. We will use all evidence possible to prove maximum fault against the other driver. Keep in mind the limitations of an uninsured motorist and their ability to pay a hefty settlement to you without auto insurance backing them.
Damages You Can Seek After a Car Accident
After a car accident, you may be able to seek damages for:
- Medical expenses for your injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages due to your recovery or inability to work because of the extent of your injuries
- Emotional suffering and loss of consortium or companionship
Lake of the Ozarks Car Accident Attorneys
We at Deputy & Mizell can guide you on your rights and walk you through the court process when filing a lawsuit against an uninsured driver. We will fight for the compensation you deserve to help you financially move forward after a car accident.If you have been hit by an uninsured driver, contact us today so we can evaluate your claim and begin your case!